SERGIO STRIKES ARGENTINA LEAVE IT LATE TO QUELL 2018 HOSTS
Sergio Agüero left it late to fire Argentina to a 1-0 friendly victory over the World Cup hosts Russia in Moscow. Jorge Sampaoli’s side, fielding a number of world-class players including Agüero, Lionel Messi and the winger Ángel Di María, were restrained by Russia and their goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, for 85 minutes. But Argentina’s commitment to turning the screw despite a series of near-misses paid dividends when Agüero broke Russia’s resolve with a firmly planted header.
After a tentative start at the Luzhniki Stadium, Di María sparked Argentina into life by pinging Messi’s lay-off towards the Russian goal, where Akinfeev was well-placed to make a smart stop.
The long-serving goalkeeper denied Argentina again in the 24th minute when Agüero shook off several defenders to aim for the bottom corner. Dmitry Poloz proved Russia were up for the game by firing just wide of Sergio Romero’s goal after connecting with Konstantin Rausch’s back-heeled pass, but Argentina were soon able to regain control.